Yesterday, Tina and I met with a couple who is hiring us to shoot their wedding. Our goal was to scout the locations where they are getting married, where we’ll stop for photos after the event, and where they are getting receptioned.
We had to drive out to a nearby suburb to meet them, but getting out there turned out hectic.
Driving to a job is often stressful. There’s a lot to think about with photography. It’s not really just a point and shoot kind of effort. There are factors and a bit of math and science mixed with directing and communication. So there was an edge already in the car.
As we drove to the highway, traffic looked nuts in front of us. Two lanes went to one way down in front of us, so we diverted and decided that we’d jog our way to another highway onramp a little further north.
What a mistake.
Do you know the saying, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire”?
Yesterday, it was “Out of the frying pan and into the flaming pits of hell.”
Okay, I’m exaggerating.
A trip that should have taken an hour turned into one hour forty.
At another point, traffic stopped. There were about ten cars ahead of us. We thought someone was parking and blocking traffic a ways up. But when I looked around the car in front of us, there was a biker laying in the middle of the road, apparently after getting hit by a car. A police officer was already there. We hoped he was telling him not to move, because he wasn’t. And that freaked us out.
When the brain experiences stress like that heaped on other stress, just seeing someone laying in the street, it blows fuses. It becomes less able to function properly.
A few minutes later, we were sitting at a traffic light waiting to turn right, and Tina said, “There’s no turn on red.” I didn’t respond. I sat there waiting for the light. I was still shocked by the sight of a hurt pedestrian.
I inched forward, and Tina repeated, “There’s no turn on red.” The light had turned green, and — as if turning into Large Marge from PeeWee’s Big Adventure — I screamed, “Tina, don’t fucking tell me how to drive! The light is green.”
Tina returned with her version of Large Marge saying, “Don’t you yell at me!”
I did one of those, “Hold on, hold on hold ons! Let’s stop for a second. We’re both stressed out. Let’s be friends again.”
We gathered our thoughts and we both apologized.
Our meeting with the couple went well. We shot them in a couple places and had dinner with them. They’re sickeningly cute. They’re teachers. And like us, they work together. They met at work. So we get each other.
On our way home, Tina and I talked about how the power of empathy can trigger so much internal torment. If we see someone in trouble, we immediately go into different weird places.
Seeing someone hurt can cause your brain to make your limbs and body feel hurt. Or you flinch.
If these empathetic mechanisms are broken, what kind of a person does that make you?